It's All About Amps, Baby
10 June 2008 | Man O’ War Cay
Scattered clouds, winds SE 8-10
There are people who have written to me and asked about the snorkeling and diving in the Abacos and they have tried to remind me that the beauty of this part of the world is all under water. They are right. I can't argue that point. However, that isn't why I am here.
I have to go to work every day. Okay, sure, I am in paradise if you are a sailor and a diver, but the fact is that I must finish this book. I know people who live in some lovely places in the world, but they insist on placing their desks away from windows or distractions of any kind. Writing isn't easy in the best of circumstances, and most of us are quick to leave the project at hand for the slightest reason. I decided to come over here this summer to get away from the distractions of every day life and find a quiet anchorage where I could write. What I didn't think about is how much power my computer would require.
I am the sort of writer who likes to work for AT LEAST eight hours a day. I talk to myself and pace and search the Internet for details. Now, I am on a boat running my laptop through a 200 watt inverter and it is sucking my batteries dry. I have three solar panels and a wind generator and often I find myself having to shut down because my batteries are crying UNCLE. Normally, this just means that I should start the engine to charge the batteries, but recently I've had issues with my engine overheating.
I am not a mechanic. My eyes usually glaze over when sailor guys start talking about diesel engines. But, hey, I need the juice to write. Suddenly, solving this raw water flow issue has become the center of my writing existence. I was down bent over the engine for the last couple of days pulling off hoses, checking the raw water strainer, pulling off the water pump and looking at the impellor and examining the diagrams of the raw water system in my engine manual for hours. Now you have to realize that these were hours that I should have been writing, but I can't write if I don't have the amps.
Finally, I figured it out. The wingnut at the top of my raw water strainer was leaking water out and I figured if water was getting out - then air could be getting in and I fashioned a gasket out of some gasket material I had and presto - water was flowing, the engine was cooling, the batteries were charging and I could write.
It's a domino effect on boats, but once you find the root problem, the sense of accomplishment is as sweet as the rum drink you allow yourself to toast the cure.